PS5's SSD storage is a huge part of Sony's PlayStation 5 package, but what makes it so much better than a traditional HDD? Sony has confirmed that the PS5 will make use of an SSD, or Solid-State Drive, which will help with things like load times. But what does this actually mean? How does it make the PS5 more powerful? As part of our PS5 guide, we're going to attempt to answer any questions you may have about PS5's SSD storage.
PS5 SSD: Why It's Better Than HDD
SSD, or Solid-State Drives, are storage devices just like hard drives (HDD), but the key difference, at least in terms of gaming, is that they generally offer better performance. Because of how they're designed, SSDs are able to access data more quickly than HDDs. This leads to quicker load times and improved technical performance.
Another benefit of using an SSD is vastly improved storage. Because of the aforementioned faster read speeds, developers will be able to make much more efficient use of storage space. This could have quite an impact on the size and scope of games on PS5.
However, because of their inherent strengths when it comes to reading data, and because of how they're put together, SSDs tend to be more expensive than HDDs. This is one of the main reasons why consoles like the PS4 haven't featured SSDs out of the box.
Anyway, the bottom line is that with an SSD, games should run better than ever on PS5. Sony has already demonstrated decreased load times with a Marvel's Spider-Man demo, which shows the game running on a PS4 Pro, and then next-gen hardware. Load times were cut from 8 seconds to less than 1 second.
PS5 SSD: How Fast Is It?
More recently, Mark Cerny has stated the PS5's custom SSD will be capable of blisteringly fast load times. The lead system architect is aiming for "instantaneous" read speeds, meaning drawn out loading screens will become a thing of the past. PS5's SSD will be capable of reading up to 5.5GB a second of raw data, which is an astronomical difference when compared to PS4, and it's even faster than Xbox Series X. You can find out more about that through here: PS5 vs Xbox Series X vs Xbox Series S: Full Tech Specs Comparison.
Also, game and update downloads will benefit from this SSD. At the moment, PS4 "copies" game data after you download something, and this process can take a frustratingly long time. On PS5, this process will be eliminated, so you won't have to wait around for the lengthy installation phase.
PS5 SSD: Will It Make PS4 Games Run Better?
Sony has confirmed that the PS5 will be backwards compatible, meaning that it'll be able to run PS4 games. But because of the PS5's increased power, does that mean PS4 games will run better on the next-gen console? The short answer is yes, they should.
And the PS5's SSD will help with this. As mentioned above, SSDs read data faster than HDDs, meaning that games can perform better. Naturally, this should apply to PS4 games as well as PS5 games, assuming that they're stored on the SSD to begin with.
It's worth pointing out that you can already replace your PS4's HDD with an SSD. Although other hardware limitations stop games from running significantly better, many PS4 games do enjoy boosts in performance when running off an SSD rather than an HDD, decreased loading times often being the most notable improvement. If the PS4 can do it, the PS5 shouldn't be any different.
PS5 SSD: How Much Storage Space Does It Have?
PS5's SSD is 825GB in size. With the file sizes of games always on the rise, this might not last a very long time. You can find out more information in our guide: PS5 SSD: How Much Storage Space Does It Have?
PS5 SSD: Can You Expand PS5's Storage Space with External Hard Drives?
Firstly, if you already have an external USB hard drive, PS5 will support the use of this hardware. It's worth noting, however, that you'll only be able to play backwards compatible PS4 games off a traditional USB hard drive, as native PS5 software will need to be installed on the PlayStation 5's SSD.
Fortunately, you'll be able to purchase and install additional SSD cards called NVMe drives. You'll need to ensure the one you purchase will work with your PS5, and it could be an expensive option, but it will at least retain the increased speed of the built-in drive. You can find a full list of Best PS5 SSD: Compatible M.2 SSD Storage Expansion for PS5 through the link, as well as how to install it through here: PS5 SSD: How to Install an Internal SSD and Expand Your Storage.
What are your thoughts on the PS5's SSD storage solution? Let us know in the comments section below, and be sure to refer to our PS5 guide for more information.